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deus ex machina

[dey-uh s eks mah-kuh-nuh, dee-uh s eks mak-uh-nuh] /ˈdeɪ əs ɛks ˈmɑ kə nə, ˈdi əs ɛks ˈmæk ə nə/
noun
1.
(in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the entanglements of the plot.
2.
any artificial or improbable device resolving the difficulties of a plot.
Origin
1690-1700
1690-1700; < Neo-Latin literally, god from a machine (i.e., stage machinery from which a deity's statue was lowered), as translation of Greek apò mēchanês theós (Demosthenes), theòs ek mēchanês (Menander), etc.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for deus ex machina

deus ex machina

/ˈdeɪʊs ɛks ˈmækɪnə/
noun
1.
(in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the plot
2.
any unlikely or artificial device serving this purpose
Word Origin
literally: god out of a machine, translating Greek theos ek mēkhanēs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deus ex machina
n.

1690s, from Modern Latin translation of Greek theos ek mekhanes, literally "the god from the machina," the device by which "gods" were suspended over the stage in Greek theater (see machine). The fem. is dea ex machina.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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